The Following Episode 8: Welcome Home
In episode eight of The Following, “Welcome Home”, it is a fine welcome for Carroll as he warms up to his spacious, wooded mansion full of cult followers.
Creepy Carroll watches Joey sleep, leaving a startled Joey afraid and distant. Do you blame the kid? Making matters worse, Carroll then tries to sell himself as a ‘cool and fun’ guy. Needless to say, Joey isn’t feeling the love. Emma tries to lick Carroll’s wounds by saying Joey just needs to get to know him. Meanwhile, the cult is awaiting Carroll’s reception downstairs, and I gotta say, that’s one scary crowd of sheeple staring up with emotionless faces.
The FBI is panicking over Carroll’s escape, and in a change of plan, they have brought in a new leader, Nick Donovan, to supervise any further actions. When Donovan overhears Hardy expressing his desire to speak with the cult follower they have in custody, Parker jumps in and takes up for Hardy, saying his tactic allowed them to bring in the warden’s daughter safely, but Donovan wants Hardy to step back and be a consultant. Hardy only wants to find out any information he can about Roderick in order to ultimately find both Carroll and Joey. Hardy agrees to consult, but I think we all know how that will turn out.
Emma seems surprised that there are so many followers involved. When asked, she ells Carroll that she hasn’t heard from Jacob and Paul, but her expression says differently. Carroll expresses his thanks to Emma for giving him his son back.
With a blaring siren, a police car pulls up and we get to see Roderick for the first time, make that Sherriff Roderick. He’s not what I expected, and I’m curious to see where the writers are going to go with this storyline. In a flashback from 2004, we see Roderick visiting Carroll in jail and admitting that he killed two of the girls that Carroll was charged with during his killing spree. Roderick seems remorseful that Carroll is doing time for their deaths instead of him, but Carroll assures him that he will pay him back. There’s a dynamic between Roderick and Carroll that seems a little shaky, showing room for shaky ground.
The suspect in FBI custody, David, refuses to talk to anyone except Hardy, so Donovan allows Hardy to sit in with him during his questioning. David addresses only Hardy, not even acknowledging Donovan. He’s one freaky guy, staring at Hardy across the table with wide, deranged eyes. Even creepier, David goes on to say that “they”, being the following, aren’t found, that instead they find you. They’re everywhere. They’re your sons and daughters, husbands and wives, even neighbors, he says. Hardy explains that David is paraphrasing notorious serial killer Ted Bundy. “Hold close your fear. It is all that you know when you take your last breath.” These words are uttered by a crazy-eyed David, and are aimed straight at Hardy. Calling his bluff, Hardy asks him for something real. He got something, all right. David leans over and it looks like he bites his finger. When he comes back up, his mouth is full of blood and he begins to have what looks like a seizure. By the time the guards rush in, David is dead.
Inside Carroll’s mansion, we see the large headquarters they have established. Charlie is manning the controls and when he sees Carroll, he apologizes for his failure. A forgiving Carroll tells him to take what he’s learned and apply it. They show Carroll what they call his inspiration room, a room for Carroll to write and hold class in. Carroll asks how many people are in the following, which is curious because he doesn’t seem to know as much as he should about his own twisted creation. It makes him seem less in control then he seems. Carroll wants to know where Claire is, admitting that Joey needs his mother, and Roderick proposes an idea for finding her. He wants to let the FBI tell them where she is. As the two of them peer at a board that holds pictures of the FBI involved in the case, they decide whom to go for first without giving away their choice.
It turns out David had a suicide pill, such as cyanide, sewn into the skin of his hand. This explains the dramatic scene that culminated in his death. They’ve finally received some information on David’s identity and found out that he was in the military and was involved in illegal activities such as soldiers involved in lethal fights with Iraqi civilians for sport. Weston and Hardy hacked into Donovan’s email to find this out, and Weston gets sent home for his actions. Hardy steps up and tries to take the blame off of Weston, but Donovan doesn’t bite. Weston goes back to his hotel and as he’s waiting on the elevator, a suspicious woman shows up. He opts for the stairs and runs into her again on his floor. There is a tense moment as he struggles to use his card key to get into his room. Things only turn worse when he finds himself face to face with two of Carroll’s followers, Charlie and Louise, inside his room.
Now Hardy can’t reach Weston and when they track his phone, it says he’s at the hotel. Hardy follows up with a visit and finds Weston’s room wrecked and no Weston in sight. Back at the casa de serial killers, Carroll and Emma are getting drunk. Emma offers herself to him, but a follower reporting on Roderick interrupts them. Emma inquires about Roderick and we see a flashback from 2003 where Carroll takes Roderick into a room where he has tied up a woman. Carroll wanted to teach Roderick about killing. Carroll’s very detailed as he describes his victim’s fear and biological process, connecting them to his own so that he can experience it along with them. Carroll’s drunkenness causes him to be frank with Emma and admit that he still loves his wife, cutting off Emma’s advances.
Parker and Hardy watch the hotel’s security footage and see Weston and his captors, who they are able to ID. With no clear car tag visible, they narrow possible vehicles down and Hardy figures out that they have him in a ship yard. Donovan allows Parker and Hardy to head there.